Saskatchewan artists Cam Forrester, Greg Hargarten, Paul Trottier, Roger Trottier and Ken Van Rees are be presenting the Canadian showing of works featured at a German exhibition last summer.
53.9 ° North, is a collection of plein air paintings that the group completed during a 14-day stay in the Northern German state of Mecklenburg near the Baltic Sea and pieces from the same latitudes in Canada. It will be on display at the Chapel Gallery in North Battleford until Dec. 13.
The artists, collectively known as Men Who Paint, were invited to Schwaan, Germany, by the Kunstmuseum (Art Museum) to explore and paint the area. The expedition yielded over 100 paintings that were featured in a month-long German exhibition last June.
The show’s host, the Kunstmuseum in Schwaan, is a member of EuroArt, the European Federation of Artists’ Colonies, which has 73 members in 13 countries. The museum was interested in the connection between the area’s long history of plein air painting and Men Who Paint’s contemporary work in the genre.
It was a perfect fit for the members of Men Who Paint who are familiar the artists’ colony tradition—the group met at the now defunct Kenderdine Campus at Emma Lake which had an international reputation for hosting artists that dated back to the 1950s.
“The Kenderdine experience was essentially an artists’ colony,” says Greg Hargarten. “We were surrounded by other artists, focused on painting 24/7 and from that base, we would paint the surrounding Lakeland area and Prince Albert National Park.”
The artists were interested in working in an old world province that lies at the same latitude as many places in Canada. In fact, coincidentally both Schwaan, Germany, and Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park lie at 53.9 ° North.
“It was certainly interesting. The landscape was quite similar to many places in Saskatchewan and Canada, but it was missing the pristine untouched wilderness familiar to Canadians,” noted Hargarten. “That’s why we decided to explore that juxtaposition by including Canadian works in the exhibit.”
The group’s German exhibition was on display at the Kunstmuseum for five weeks and the works have now been shipped to Saskatchewan.
The Men Who Paint members all currently live in Saskatoon. Their work is held in private, corporate and museum collections in Canada and abroad.
Chapel Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
You can watch a video about Men Who Paint below.